Oct. 31, 2017
EL DORADO, Ark. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢'Â¬" Felix Paalson and Ryan Alford both shot final round 74's to help Louisiana Tech move up six spots and finish as the runner-up at the 2017 Duck Commander Intercollegiate at Mystic Creek Golf Course.
The Bulldogs entered the final round sitting in eighth-place in the 12-team field, but shot the second best team round of the day on Tuesday to pass six teams during a 54-hole event that saw weather conditions play havoc on the field for three days.
"I'm glad we finished second," said head coach Matt Terry. "Sometimes you have to throw out the numbers. You came to a tournament and finished second. The 57th ranked team in the country beat us by seven strokes. For us, we have to continue to improve. This week we got a little bit better. Each one of the guys contributed this week. That was fun to see each one of them play well at different times.
"This was a difficult course and these were challenging conditions to play in the last three days. Today was probably the toughest day, and we shot our best round of the week. I'm proud of the effort."
Tech finished as the runner-up despite shooting a three-round team total of 59-over-par (923), seven strokes behind UNCW (916). The Bulldogs edged Central Arkansas (926), UTSA (929), Arkansas State (930), Eastern Kentucky (932), Little Rock (933), WKU (934), ULM (937), Houston Baptist (945), Stephen F. Austin (948) and Southeastern Louisiana (962).
Paalson recorded his third Top 5 finish of the fall. The Stockholm, Sweden native finished third with a three-round total of 225 (75-76-74), this after finishing fifth at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate and first at the Quail Valley Intercollegiate.
"He's playing really well," said Terry. "I honestly think he is disappointed in the way he played this week. But finishing third only three strokes back of the champion is solid. He made the comment and I agree that its tough to adjust going from the course we played last week where birdies are king to this one where pars are good scores. It's a totally different mindset and tough for a player to do. Shooting an average of 75 on this course is pretty good."
Teammate Ryan Alford also played well, recording his first career Top 15 finish. The Shreveport native moved up 16 spots on Tuesday to tie for 11th place with a three round total of 230 (75-81-74). His final round consisted of four birdies, four bogeys and one double bogey.
"Ryan played well in the third round," said Terry. "Today was big shooting 2 over par when we needed it. He had it going today. It was nice. I felt like a 74 was an under par round today. That course played really tough, tougher than it had the first two days."
Freshman Peyton Coursey played in only his second event of the fall and came up strong. The Mansfield, Texas native tied for 24th with a 235 (79-73-83) which included a second round one-over-par 73. Karsten Green tied for 36th (79-81-79=239) and Joacim Ahlund tied for 43rd (83-78-80-241).
UNCW's Patrick Cover won the individual title with a 222 (70-74-78).
The event ended the Bulldogs fall season. Tech will open up the spring schedule Jan. 29-30 at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tuscon, Arizona.